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State Route 68 is a designated scenic route that connects the Monterey Peninsula to US Highway 101 and the Salinas Valley. SR 68 is a key route commute travel between Salinas and Monterey for 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles each day, as well as tourism and special event traffic.
The Monterey-Salinas Scenic Highway 68 Plan will evaluate current and future travel patterns between Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula, the feasibility of affordable mid-term operational and capacity improvements in the SR 68 corridor in context to other planning regional improvements serving the same commute market, and the potential for wildlife connectivity enhancements. The Transportation Agency will actively engage the public and partner agencies in the plan with a program of public meetings and online outreach efforts. The transportation Agency for Monterey County will use the plan to determine affordable strategies that contribute to the long-range sustainability of SR 68.
The plan will provide the data, analysis, and public deliberation necessary to make informed decisions to identify capacity, operational, sustainable, and affordable projects that can be implemented over the next twenty years in the SR 68 corridor. Historically, a SR 68 corridor study from the mid-1990s was used to plan and implement a series of operational improvements along the corridor, the last of which is in the final planning stages. The 1990s, corridor study provided specific recommendations for operational improvements. In 2012, Caltrans completed a Transportation Concept Report (TCR) for SR 68 that recommended additional study to determine needed improvements for the SR 68 Corridor between Salinas and Monterey. The 2014 Monterey County Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) identifies some needed improvements for the corridor, including upgrading the Corral de Tierra intersection which is programmed for construction in fiscal year 2016/17.
With the final recommendations from the 1990s corridor study being implemented, a new corridor analysis is needed to allow the Transportation Agency for Monterey County to plan for the sustainability of the SR 68 corridor. The project will solicit public feedback will to assist with determining what transportation needs must be met to ensure the corridor’s sustainability.
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